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Darren Chester opposes GPs prescribing 60-day meds citing health risks and supply chain issues

Darren Chester urges the government to reject a proposal for GPs to prescribe 60-day medication, citing supply chain issues and potential risks to public health.

By news@gippsland - 26th April 2023 - Back to News

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester says the federal government should rule out legislative changes which would allow GPs to prescribe two months' worth of medication in place of the current one month recommendation. Mr Chester said he had been contacted by several pharmacists across Gippsland who have highlighted the risks of such a move and the negative impacts on clients.

Local MP Darren Chester, after getting a flu shot from a pharmacist, opposes GPs prescribing 60-day medication and urges the government to reject it

Local MP Darren Chester, after getting a flu shot from a pharmacist, opposes GPs prescribing 60-day medication and urges the government to reject it

Plan hurts the pharmacists

Mr Chester said, "This is an ill-considered plan by a city-focused Labor government that will only benefit large metropolitan-based suppliers at the expense of regional community pharmacists. On the surface, reducing the number of times a patient needs to visit a GP to renew a prescription may sound attractive, but it doesn't take into account the longer term consequences."

"Pharmacists are telling me they already experience serious supply chain issues when it comes to critical medications across the country. I'm advised by Gippsland pharmacists that increasing the medication supply from the current 30-day to 60-day dispensing will exacerbate the already alarming issue of medicine shortages."

"Our country has been facing this challenge for some time now, and this proposed change will only place further strain on the existing supply chain, making it more difficult for patients to access their essential medications." Mr Chester said.

Dispensing extension risks

Mr Chester added, "The longer dispensing period will lead to more significant stockpiling and hoarding of medications, causing an imbalance in availability and making it harder for patients with genuine needs to access their required treatments. There's an increased risk of medication overdoses, particularly among vulnerable populations such as children and seniors."

"By providing larger quantities of medication at a time, there is a heightened likelihood of accidental overdoses, prescription misuse, and diversion of medications to unauthorised users. This poses a significant threat to public health and safety."

Mr Chester said the federal government should listen to the concerns of community pharmacy owners across regional Australia and recognise the critical role they played during the coronavirus pandemic. "We need our local pharmacies to remain economically viable and I'm concerned that this change will also undermine the financial situation for these small and family-owned businesses," Mr Chester said.

Pictures from Darren Chester MP website.


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